Christian Siriano Dishes On His Fall 2014 Collection's Mid-Century Muse

Behind the scenes with Christian Siriano at NYFW


There are a few things you can always expect from a Christian Siriano show: drama that's well-balanced with wearability, meticulous attention to construction, and highbrow inspiration. The Fall 2014 collection he debuted at New York Fashion Week is absolutely no exception, hitting each note with even more masterful precision than in previous seasons. We were lucky enough to catch up with Siriano backstage just before his show, where he revealed his muse and gave us a peek at his thought process when developing a collection.

Christian Siriano

Looks from Christian Siriano's Fall 2014 New York Fashion Week runway show.
Photo: Getty Images

For Fall 2014, Siriano took inspiration from photos of Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn taken by both of her husbands, Fernand Fonssagrives and Irving Penn. The references to mid-century French dressing—from graphic grayscale prints to chic ladylike silhouettes and uncluttered lines—are unmistakable, but at the same time, nothing feels costume-y or labored. That updated checkered-print dress could translate just as effortlessly with a sleek high ponytail and platform sneakers as it does a Heather Huey-designed chapeau and smart heels.

Christian Siriano

Looks from Christian Siriano's Fall 2014 New York Fashion Week runway show.
Photo: Getty Images

Personally, it's the less-obvious interpretations of the source material that I really gravitate toward—pieces like this structured white cocktail dress that hits just below the knee, swanning out in an hourglass shape from a just-asymmetrical-enough folded strapless neckline. I can't wait to see who ends up being the first PYT to wear the lace mesh suit separates on the red carpet—a look that's as bold as it is prim and polished. The piece I loved most of all, though, were these swishy silk trousers with an additional tulip curtain skirt piece. I'm not sure what the technical term is, but it's kind of like a backwards apron. I know that sounds terrible, but I promise, these are my favorite. The way these pants move exudes SO much effortless poise while also being infinitely more comfortable than any other dress pants tucked away in your closet (I'm guessing, given the roomy cut, but am also more than willing to test-drive for journalism's sake).

Christian Siriano

Looks from Christian Siriano's Fall 2014 New York Fashion Week runway show.
Photo: Getty Images

It's all a testament to Christian's ability to translate inspiration into devastating-yet-uncomplicated fashions that are somehow also wildly accessible to a range of personal steezes and shapes. This black column dress with opaque geometric panels that resemble a broken mirror is a perfect example—each shape is positioned just so as to hug, highlight, and really celebrate any and all natural curves. His attention to detail is exemplary—you wouldn't know by first glance, but all of the white dots on the polka-dotted finale dress aren't prints or pieces of fabric but tiny circles fully embroidered with even tinier white glass seed beads. And of course, he can freshen up a classic red carpet stand-by. His consideration for the female form shines even with relatively straightforward pieces like a black floor-length evening gown, which he gives a striking, clavicle-glorifying neckline (flattering for literally every chest size) and a dramatic waist cape. Somehow the dude is able to deliver on all of the above, and let me tell you, it's a GODSEND.

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